Perhaps it started when you were very young. Did your first attempts at baby talk sound like "Daidle-deedle-daidle-digguh-digguh-deedle-daidle-dum?" Or "Lahdle-ahdle-ahdle-dig-dig-dig?" Or even "Reck-eck-oh-weck-oh-weck-oh-weck-oh-weck-oh-weck-oh-wecks-ex?" Then you are what is known as a show freak. Luckily, there are many out there. But do you know how you rank among your illustrious peers? Take a test to see just how much of a show freak you are:

1. When you were a kid and a parent came in to read you a bedtime story, you always wanted the one about the big black giant who looks and listens with thousands of eyes and ears. (1 pt.) Note: Add 2 pts. if, before you went to sleep, you said, "God bless mommy, God bless daddy, and God bless the human elbow." Add another 4 pts if, after your parent said, "Pleasant dreams," you said, "Pleasant dream ballets."

2. When you were "It" during a game of Hide-and-Seek, you hid your eyes and instead of counting "One-two-three-four-five," you sang, "Two million, four million, six million, eight million, ten!" (5 pts.) Note: Add 4 pts if instead of saying, "Cross my heart and hope to die," you said "Cross my heart like Merman and Durante's billing on Red, Hot and Blue.

3. When you and your friends played annoying games on the telephone, they may have called strangers and asked "Is your refrigerator running?" or "Have you Prince Albert in a can?" but you instead phoned people and said, "Hello, Mrs. Garfine, is Charity home from school yet?" (5 pts.)

4. When you played doctor with your friends, you always told your "patients" when examining them "The liver's a barrel of brandy, in one sense; The lungs are two bags of good sense and nonsense." (2 pts.)

5. When you were about to go away to camp and were told that you could take one precious item from home, you took the souvenir book from a Broadway musical. (4 pts.) Note: Add 4 pts. if, on the summer camp bus, when everyone else wanted to sing "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," you wanted to sing "100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man." (3 pts.)

6. You had as a pet: a) a dog named Sandy (1 pt.); b) a cat named Grizabella (2 pts.); c) an ant named Mame (3 pts.)

The Merman Gypsy
The Merman Gypsy
7. In your house, you made sure there was: a) momma; b) three ducks; c) five canaries; d) a mouse; e) two monkeys; f) one father; g) six turtles; h) you; i) the 1959 Gypsy cast album, i) the 1962 Gypsy soundtrack; j) the 1989 Gypsy cast album; l) the 1993 Gypsy TV soundtrack; m) the 1973 Gypsy London cast album; n) the 1974 Gypsy London cast album released in America with three new rerecorded Angela Lansbury cuts. (1 pt. each). Note: Add 4 pts if, when you're riding in a friend's car and you notice a strange sound coming from the front, you say in a raspy voice, "Maybe there's something wrong with your bumper."

8. When you went out drinking with your friends as an adolescent, your beverages of choice were medicinal wine from a teaspoon--then beer from a bottle. (2 pts.)

9. When you played poker, instead of telling your opponent to "Cut the cards," you said, "Hit the Deck." (2 pts.)

10. When your history teacher mentioned Robert E. Lee, you assumed that he meant the co-librettist of Mame. (2 pts.) Note: Add 2 pts. if, when it came to discussing presidential administrations, you could best discuss Wintergreen's.

11. When your English teacher asked you to relate the plot of Uncle Tom's Cabin, you gave Tuptim's version. (3 pts.) Note: Add 3 pts. if you told your English teacher that it isn't "'I' before 'E," except after 'C'" but "'I' before 'E,' except in 'Sondheim.'"

12. You can perfectly spell, without the slightest hesitation: a) Joel Grey (1 pt.); b) Dolores Gray (2 pts.); c) Margery Gray (3 pts.); d) Hal Hackady (5 pts.); e) John N. Znidarsic (10 pts.)

13. When your biology teacher mentioned "flora" and "fauna," you thought of Liza Minnelli and Helen Traubel. (4 pts.)

14. The only copy of Playboy you ever owned was the April 1974 issue--the one that includes Larry L. King's original article that inspired The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. (2 pts.)

15. When you're at someone's house for dinner, after you finish your first serving, you implore: "Please, sir, I want some more." (2 pts.)

16. When you make your bed in the morning, you arrange the covers to resemble the logo art of Passion. (2 pts.)

17. When you played Scrabble, you allow such words as Bajour, Kwamina, and Flahooley. (3 pts.)

18. When you're on a highway and see a sign that says "Motel," you think of Fiddler on the Roof. (5 pts.)

19. You not only think of April 23 as Shakespeare's birthday but also as the day She Loves Me opened in 1963. (6 pts.)

20. You don't like Frank Sinatra. You really can't. Yes, he was a fabulous pop vocalist, but anyone who won't even deign to do a Broadway musical when his career is on the skids--namely, prior to his 1952 From Here to Eternity comeback--deserves the scorn of a show freak. (7 pts.)

21. You've wondered if, when the composer of Once Upon a Mattress introduces herself to someone, she sings the "Howdy--I'm Mary Rodgers" line from The Will Rogers Follies. (3 pts.) Note: Add 3 pts. if you know that the Mary Rogers character in the musical spells her name without the "d."

22. When someone is about to tell you bad news, you insist: "Tell Me on a Sunday." (1 pt.)

The Lansbury Gypsy
The Lansbury Gypsy
23. At the beginning of the new theatrical season on June 1, you send out cards that say, "Seasons Greetings." (2 pts.)

24. You believe that Broadway producer and Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazzee, who traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees so he could produce No, No, Nanette, actually did the right thing and got the better of the deal. (2 pts.)

25. When you see the Seagram's Building, what comes to mind is Bobby in Company. (1 pt.). Note: Add 4 pts. if, when you give someone a photograph of yourself, you sign it, "With love filling the days, with love, 70 ways."

26. When you get into a taxi, you have the urge to say to the cabbie, "Take me to granny tonight!" (2 pts.)

27. When something goes unspeakably wrong, you never say, "It's an outrage" but say instead "It's a outrage." (2 pts.)

28. You don't refer to turkey luncheon meat as turkey luncheon meat but as "a turkey that you know will fold." (3 pts.)

29. When someone lamely tries and fails to put something over on you, you sneer, "That's the oldest trick in the libretto." (3 pts.)

30. If you had a child, you'd name it Matt if it were a boy and Luisa if it were a girl. (3 pts.)

31. When you do a crossword puzzle, you don't fill it out according to the clues but just put in the titles of musicals. (2 pts.) (Of course, you aren't expected to do this with the down clues, not just because that would be too hard but also because "down" is not a term we associate with musical theater; it's how well a show comes "across," isn't it?)

32. When someone says he's going to St. Bart's, you assume he means the community theater at Park and 50th. (2 pts.)

33. When you go to the doctor and he asks you to say, "Ah," somehow it comes out "Ah, Paree." (2 pts.) Note: Add 4 pts. if, when you look at the eye chart, you say "'E' is for the endless cleanup projects; 'M' is for the moldy roofs above..." (3 pts.)

34. When you are changing your address, you make a postcard with the Sunset Boulevard logo and put your new address in it. (3 pts.)

35. When you're standing in a long line waiting for tickets and there's only one window open, you sing: "Someone ought to open up a window!" (2 pts.)

The Lisa Kirk-Roz Russell Gypsy
The Lisa Kirk-Roz Russell Gypsy
36. When you hear a fire siren, you immediately expect that the overture of Fiorello! will follow. (2 pts.)

37. You cut your backyard shrubbery to replicate the original logo of Into the Woods. (3 pts.)

38. When someone asks you, "How's your love life?" you answer, "Not good. I only have a tape from that Philadelphia revival a few years back." (3 pts.)

39. When your mate comes home and catches you in a compromising sexual position with someone else, you start singing "This is My Once a Year Day." (2 pts.)

40. Instead of using the expression "That's music to my ears," you augment it by saying "That's show music to my ears." (10 pts.)

SCORING:
0: You Never Know
1-15: You Okay, Honey?
16-17: You Are Sixteen Going on Seventeen
18-39: You Mustn't Feel Discouraged
41-50: You I Like
51-60: You Are Beautiful
61-75: You Are for Loving
71-99: You'll Never Get Away from Me
99 and up: You Could Not Please Me More

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[To contact Peter Filichia directly, e-mail him at pfilichia@aol.com]